Wednesday, June 15, 2016

RV pony express

Dear Dr. R.V. Shrink:
We have started traveling part of the year and living in a fifth-wheel. So far it is everything we thought it would be. We are slowly working out the kinks.

One problem that drives us crazy is shopping online. Over the past few years a majority of our shopping is online. We miss the convenience now that we are on the road.

I noticed in last week's RVtravel newsletter that Amazon is beginning to sprout delivery lockers around the country. That's great, but for now we are very frustrated with a lack of options for having our online purchases delivered to us.

We spend more time and money driving around looking for items we want when they are right here on our screen yet unreachable.

Can you deliver for us a few ideas?
--Frustrated in Freeport

Dear Frustrated:
It will get much easier real soon, but you don't have to wait for lockers to appear. You would be surprised how many places are willing to let you ship your items to their address. You just need to plan ahead a bit and be willing to ask.

We have had items shipped to many state parks in our travels. The packages are delivered to the gate office and they let us know when they have arrived. The majority of commercial campgrounds will do the same.

With Amazon, you cannot specify which carrier you want, or can you? I was told if you use the words, "PO Box" in your address, Amazon automatically ships your package through the USPS. It just has to be within postal package sizes. So pick a small town post office (that's important) and give Amazon your shipping address as "PO Box General Delivery."

When I long-distance hike I ship myself boxes of food and my Amazon purchases this way, and the post office will hold it for up to 30 days.

One more nugget of info. You have to use the "Standard Shipping" option. This takes several days, so plan accordingly. Prime member packages go UPS or FedEx.
Order ahead to give your package plenty of time to arrive. That way you know it will be there when you show up and not have to drop anchor too long waiting for your ship(ment) to come in.

Same with your mail. Pick a small town post office. They are less busy, more helpful, and less likely to lose your mail.

This works 70% of the time with Amazon. If the item is shipping from a vendor other than Amazon they may not agree to ship, but that should happen at checkout.

You could get ahead of the game and get your own drone. Amazon is not delivering with them yet, but you could go pick it up.
--Keep Smilin', Dr. R.V. Shrink

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